Raider Legend Ken Stabler Dies, Belongs in the Hall of Fame
Sad news today from NFL.com:
Ken Stabler, who quarterbacked the Oakland Raiders to a win in Super Bowl XI has died at the age of 69, the Raiders confirmed Thursday. The University of Alabama passed along a statement from the family, which says Stabler died of colon cancer.
Stabler, nicknamed “The Snake,” was a four-time Pro Bowler in the NFL. He won two NCAA titles as a backup quarterback at Alabama, and led the 1966 team to an undefeated record.
His long time coach, John Madden had this to say in response:
I’ve often said, If I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenny. Snake was a lot cooler than I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders you think about Ken Stabler. Kenny loved life. It is a sad day for all Raiders.
Why Isn’t Stabler in the Hall of Fame?
Hall of Fame Resume
- Super Bowl XI champion
- 4× Pro Bowl selection (1973, 1974, 1976, 1977)
- 2× AP First-Team All-AFC (1973, 1974)
- AP First-Team All-Pro (1974)
- AP Second-Team All-Pro (1976)
- 1974 NFL MVP (AP, NEA, MX)
- AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1974)
- Led NFL in TD passes in 1974 and 1976
- 7 consecutive winning seasons and 5 consecutive AFC Championship Appearances
Stabler was known for his accuracy and led the NFL in completion percentage in 1973 and 1976 and completed 60 percent or more five times. This is significant since the Raiders were a long-ball offense, they did not pass as often to their running backs as other teams.
Raiders cornerback Lester Hayes recalls:
I never saw anything like it. He had pinpoint accuracy. He was like Madison Bumgarner. Fastballs, slider, just pinpoint accuracy.
During practice before Super Bowl XI, John Madden told the San Jose Mercury News:
That whole practice, we passed the ball one-on-one, skeleton, team (drills), only one ball hit the ground. One ball. It was a ball out on the left to Dave Casper. It went right through his hands. That was as good a practice as I’ve ever been involved in. Stabler was as good as I’ve ever seen him.
Quickest QB to Win 100 Games
Stabler did this in 150 games. Since then, only Terry Bradshaw in 147 games, Joe Montana in 139 games and Tom Brady in 131 games have reached 100 wins more quickly.
All Decade Teams
Of all the 16 quarterbacks named to the NFL’s All-Decade Teams for the 1950s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, how many do you think are not in the Hall of Fame?
Top Coach-Quarterback Combos of All Time
Madden/Stabler had a .756 winning percentage which puts them 4th all-time behind Brady/Belichick (.773), Lombardi/Starr (.770) and Manning/Dungy (.759).
As former Raider John Vella explained:
How could he not be in the Hall of Fame? Are stats everything? Ask the Steeler defense in the ’70s. The best defense. Who would they have not wanted to face? Ask the Dolphin No-Name defense who would they not want to face in the clutch. That says it all. They would say to a man, ‘We don’t want to face Snake.’”
REGULAR SEASON STATS